After iPhones, made-in-India Google Pixel phones now?

Google is reportedly planning to make Pixel phones in India. According to The Information (via TechCrunch), the technology giant is eyeing to move production of Pixel smartphones to the country. The report states that Google has solicited bids from manufacturers to assemble between 500,000 and 1 million units of the Pixel smartphone that accounts for 10-20% of Pixel phones annual production. Google hasn’t taken a final call on moving some Pixel manufacturing to India, the report cautions.

The company has been planning to move its manufacturing of Pixel phones away from China for some time now. A report in 2019 suggested that the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 series phones were being manufactured in Vietnam. Google then moved back manufacturing of Pixel 6 series phones to China.

Google hasn’t launched premium Pixel phones in India for almost three years for various reasons. At present, Google offers the affordable variants of its Pixel phones in India (the likes of Google Pixel 6a, Pixel 4a). If the company moves ahead with the plan, we will see more Pixel phone launches in the country hopefully. This can also aid in improving the sale of Pixel smartphones in India. Currently, Pixel phones are lagging behind other Android phones, especially in the Indian market. Making them in India may give Google an edge over its competitors.

Google’s rival Apple started assembling phones in India five years ago in 2017. The Cupertino-based company is planning to begin manufacturing the latest iPhone 14 in India. The production is said to start about two months after the product’s initial release out of China, narrowing the gap between the two countries but not closing it completely as some had anticipated.

Other smartphone makers Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo and Vivo have been locally producing handsets as well as a range of other gadgets in the country for several years.

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